Normally I post from my apartment in New Jersey, but in this case, I’m in New York City, posting from the office (maybe not the brightest thing to do, but I never claimed to be all that wise).
Anyway, last night was basketball, and I have to admit, this was the first time in a long while when I left not feeling good about things. As long-time readers know, it’s usually very easy for me to have a blast even when our team is blown out in all the games. But last night several things combined to make it a “meh” kind of evening:
- We lost 2 games, tied 1, and won 1. This is pretty minor, really, but still didn’t do a lot to boost the Happy Time factor.
- We, as a team, didn’t play that well. More disappointing then anything, really.
- It was getting very chippy out there, and a little uncomfortable. A couple of people were getting visibly upset with me when I was covering them; more on that later. In another game, there were actually a couple of tense moments in which it almost looked like a shoving match was going to get started. Considering this is supposed to be a rec league for fun, those moments always take some of the wind out of the sails.
- The ref was not doing a very good job. Now — everyone playing knows that the refs are going to miss a call here and there. There’s only one, after all, and that person can’t watch the whole court, and sometimes can’t see things too clearly. Still, last night the ref was not calling fouls (and all teams) nearly as much as he should have. I came to realize at that point just how important it is to call fouls on a regular basis: it prevents people from getting too physical. I honestly believe that the reason it was getting so chippy out there was because people were (whether consciously or not) seeing just how physical they could get. That, and sort of the mentality, “Well, if the ref isn’t going to call that as a foul, then I’m going to start doing it as well.” One thing that I should mention, though, is that this ref is new, and so I think is still learning the ropes. At the same time, this was the first time that I heard a ref threaten to call a technical foul on the next team that argue with a call/non-call.
- Finally, and most importantly, I just don’t think I played that well last night. I actually did well on defense later in the night, basically shutting down the guy I was covering (who, in turn, thought I was playing too physical), but I just don’t feel like I was ever really all that comfy out there. More to the point, I wasn’t having that much fun playing. Odd.
Next week are the playoffs, which I suspect will be just as intense, if not more so. I remember hearing about some of the plays from last season, and there was not a lot of “carefree fun” taking place on the courts.